BRISBANE HOTELS ROBBED AS DRUG DETECTIONS SOAR

In Crime by Clyde Mooney

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Brisbane pubs have seen a recent blight of low-tech cash-grab robberies, with State research showing drug abuse up and alcohol down.

The robberies have taken place late at night or even after closing, and each feature two men wielding weapons including timber and garden tools.

In late July two men entered the east Brisbane Tingalpa Hotel just after midnight and threatened staff with a knife and a pick-axe. They fled with cash, and no-one was injured.

In August, another Brisbane pub was held up by two men reportedly armed with an axe and a piece of wood. They fled with cash, and no-one was injured.

In September two men rushed into ALH’s Oxenford Tavern just before closing time, around 3:40am. The bandits were armed with a machete and a hammer, and fled in what was described as a small black hatchback, parked outside.

Both men were masked, but one was described as around 30 years old with olive complexion, the other as being of “slim build”. One is believed to have dropped a necklace found at the scene. They escaped with cash, and no-one was injured.

Yesterday morning, two men physically broke into Spirit Hotels’ Mansfield Tavern, around 2:50am. The pub had closed at 2am. Police report the offenders escaped with some cash and no-one was injured.

Research at the end of 2015 by Queensland Police noted a significant drop in both speeding and drink-driving offences, but a massive increase in drug-driving.

It showed a 40 per cent drop in speeding offences, despite or perhaps because of increased enforcement and new camera technology, and a “downward trend” in driving under the influence of alcohol.

During the same period, the number of drivers detected with drugs in their system has increased 249 per cent, from 261 in 2011 to 912 in 2014.

The findings reflect the increasing problem of amphetamine and ‘ice’ addiction in Australia’s cities, effectively incentivised by authorities’ prolonged focus on reducing public use of alcohol.

Queensland Police say they are more than doubling the number of roadside drug tests this year. Authorities continue efforts to arrest their way out of a complex social problem.

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